Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
God gave him a vision of what the future could look like. It was a dream that in many ways was like many other dreams he had had, but there was something different about it. He woke up feeling like this dream was a message that he should remember and pray into. So, he prayed about what he thought God was telling him until God confirmed it to be true. Then, he began the journey of taking the steps the Spirit led him to take in order to reach that vision. It would take years, and the road was often rocky and foggy, but he eventually reached his destination. In what seemed like an instant, the vision went from being in his mind to being before his eyes.
Imagine that your father says that he has a great gift for you, and it is indeed yours now, but he does not have it for you yet. That might confuse you because we expect that any gift that is given to us would actually be given to us now. If someone says this is for you, our hands are open and ready to receive. Yet, God often reveals to us that He has a gift for us that we cannot yet have. A dream, a vision, or a prophetic word can start this process of us having to believe for something we cannot see yet. It is the assured faith in knowing that the gift is ours that takes us from God’s promise to its fulfillment. Then, once we receive, that hope to which we had clung is revealed to be a real thing that we get to have.
I heard the testimony of a missionary who became very ill while overseas, but she knew that her mission could not be accomplished if she did not survive her illness. She just knew that she had to get better, so she believed that she would be healed. In fact, she began to thank God for her healing while she still was very sick, and a strange thing happened. As she gave thanks for being healed, it became a reality. She confessed what she knew was hers before it was evident. As she acted based on that faith, the healing she knew belonged to her became real and visible for everyone. Father, give us faith to hope with assurance that all You say is ours is actually ours already and will be revealed as such.